The other day, while on Facebook, a friend of mine linked an article about how to clean your hair without shampoo. I read through the article, and then decided to read through a handful of other articles (there are 5 different links in there, if you’re curious about what I’ve been reading) before making a decision about this process. When I turned around and shared the link with my own friends… I won’t lie, I was surprised by the amount of interest from so many others. At least 3 other people relinked the same article and there were TONS of comments on everyone else’s posts as well as my own (and by ton I meant more than 4).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m internally a hippy, even if on the outside I refuse to wear patchouli or burn incense ALL the time. I don’t smell like sage, and I don’t own a single skirt that goes to my ankles. But I am interested in decreasing my own personal carbon footprint (to be PC about it) as well as decreasing the quantity of junk I put in my body as well as what I put on my body. There are a hundred different reasons for a thousand different people, but mostly it’s because I’m tired of having weird unexplainable crap happen to my body. It’s time to make my body a place of zen… again… like when I was a little kid. It’s my own little personal biosphere, really, when you think about it. Why not make it a happy place instead of an always conspiring against you place. And yes, my body is constantly conspiring against me.
In almost all of the pictures I’ve seen about what people’s hair looks like, the styles all seem to be of a short nature. I have absolutely nothing against short hairstyles, but I do not have one of those. My hair, at the longest point, goes to the middle of my back. I believe this poses an entirely different set of rules and processes while going No ‘Poo. Like my hair did not feel “de-greased” when I used the baking soda mixture. I used it, rinsed, used it, rinsed, then finally broke down and used a teeny bit of shampoo to actually degrease my hair, used the baking soda again.
Now here’s where my crazed yarn love and small stint in dying comes into play. When you dye natural fibers (like wool and silk), you need to make sure the dye is acidic. It is also suggested that you use similar ingredients as the ones mentioned for the “conditioner” portion of all of this. To balance the pH of your hair and bring it back to normal. So instead of using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (which is hard to find sans sugar and other junk in it), I have citric acid crystals (or powder). You need a lot less of this in your conditioner mixture, but it accomplishes the same thing as the vinegar and lemon juice. It also has no scent or color what-so-ever.
I noticed a definite difference in the texture of my hair when I put the “conditioner” in my hair and let it sit for about 15 seconds or so. After rinsing it out I finished my shower like any other. The real interesting stuff seemed to be things I noticed after I was dressed and dealing with my hair outside of the shower setting.
Even with shampoo and conditioner, when brushing my hair (yes while wet… yeah yeah, I know the warnings and I don’t care) I often had tangles. With the baking soda/citric acid combo, I had not even one tangle. This may have been a fluke since it really is only the first day and I have nothing else to compare it to, but if this is a trend that will continue, my hair and head will be happy for the change.
On a typical shampoo day, it takes somewhere between a half hour and an hour to deal with my tresses. That includes putting some sort of shiny-fier if I’m going out and want extra shiny hair, blow drying and flat ironing for lack of fly-aways and style. Half hour is pretty generous for short timing, as it’s usually much longer. My hair always seemed to hold gallons of water even after I had towel-dried and even somewhat air-dried my hair. However, with the No ‘Poo process I had none of this. My hair started to have the dry-flippy bits within minutes of towel-drying. Also, blow drying AND flat ironing took half the amount of time it normally does. Half. This is mind blowing. I decided on a hair style that requires me to actually DO something with it all the time. It was a poor choice, but a cute hairstyle. What’s a girl to do?! Apparently, ditch the shampoo and you are blessed with you time being yours again.
Another thing to note is that I have dry scalp. It flakes like dandruff, but isn’t dandruff. But I have super oily hair. It’s really quite the conundrum. It doesn’t even make sense!! Until I read through so many things regarding the detergents in shampoo. I understand the biosciences of the body and know that my scalp is working overtime to adjust, but I’m stripping everything with shampoo. Got it. While my scalp is still noticeably dry along the hairline, there was no flaking. No flaking while blow drying my hair. No flaking when brushing AFTER it was dry. No flaking the next morning (aka this morning).
Again I point out that this is all stuff that stuck out for me. Things I definitely noticed without realizing that there might be a difference. I know there’s a detox period of about 2 weeks in which my scalp still produces the same quantity of oil as it was when using shampoo. So I might find that I’m “shampooing” every other day for the first couple of weeks while I try to keep my hair from turning into a fire hazard.
I will keep you posted on the progress and changes. I figure there will be complaints at some point about the process, and I will gladly document those too.Filed under it's called life!, living green | Comments (8)